Students grade schools higher on safety, respecting their identities | #schoolsaftey

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Dive Brief:

  • Students gave higher marks to schools for keeping them physically safe and respecting their identities while scoring them lower on supporting their mental health and teaching them about potential careers, according to data released Wednesday by Gallup and the Walton Family Foundation.
  • Overall, students in grades 5-12 graded their schools a B-. Average letter grades in 11 school-related topics ranged from a B to C+, out of an A, B, C, D or “fail” grading scale.
  • The inaugural survey about how students feel about themselves, their schools and their future will produce additional findings to be released in the coming months. 

Dive Insight:

The research, based on responses from about 2,300 students ages 12-18 years old, also finds that students’ school experiences can impact how they grade their schools. For example, students who rated their schools higher for making them feel included were more likely to say they earned “excellent” or “good” grades themselves.

Additionally, only 33% of Black students gave their school an A for respecting their race, ethnicity, gender and identity, compared to 53% of Hispanic students and 50% of White students.

“For learning to be more relevant, engaging and rigorous, we must listen to and collaborate with young people,” said Romy Drucker, director of the Walton Family Foundation’s Education Program, in a statement. “With students giving schools an overall “B-“ grade, it is clear that there is much work to do together.”

Here are additional survey findings:

  • When asked about how their school prepares them for the future, 39% gave schools a C and 20% handed out an A.
  • Nearly half (48%) gave schools an A for respecting their identities, while only 13% awarded an A for making them excited about learning.
  • Just 19% of students gave an A to schools for adapting to their learning needs, and 27% issued an A for their school’s use of new technology to enhance learning.

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